Developer objects to €472k Luas line bill from council

The developers of the site where U2 recorded some of their best-loved albums have entered a battle with Dublin City Council over a disputed Luas Red Line payment of almost €500,000.

Hibernia Reit is one of the largest property players in the country and last year purchased the Windmill Lane studio site and adjoining site at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay for €25.25m.

Last month, Dublin City Council gave the property firm the go-ahead for revised plans to construct a €50m mixed-use development on the Sir John Rogerson’s Quay site adjacent to the former U2 studio site at Windmill Lane on the south side of the River Liffey.

The firm is also investing €52m in the Windmill Lane site.

The revised six-storey plan comprises 13,700sq metres in gross floorspace, a marginal decrease on the original planning grant of permission that was secured in 2008.

However, arising from a 2013 Dublin City Council contribution scheme for Luas Docklands, the City Council has slapped a €472,878 bill on Hibernian towards contributing to the Luas line from Connolly Station to Point Square in the Docklands.

In its decision, the council said it is considered reasonable the payment of a contribution for the public infrastructure and facilities benefiting development in the Luas C1 line area should be made.

However, Hibernia has now appealed against the city’s demand for €472,878 to An Bord Pleanála.

In its appeal drawn up by consultants, John Spain & Associates, it claims the contribution condition “seeks to retrospectively apply a development contribution to a development which was originally granted planning permission in November 2008.”

Mr Spain points to an An Bord Pleanála precedent where it was found there was no basis for the attachment of a development contribution on a revised planning application where there is no increase in floorspace.

Hibernia hopes to have the Sir John Rogerson’s Quay development completed by 2018, with the Windmill Lane site to be completed by 2017 and construction to commence later this year.

Dublin City Council is to provide its response to An Bord Pleanála on the appeal, with a decision due later this year.


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